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Starting measurements from the floor to the fender measured on a line that goes through the center of the hub cap.

  Front Back
 Left 26.25 25.44
 Right 26.50 25.44

The recommendation is to have 25.5 in. on the front and 25 in. at the back. The front must be dropped by over an inch while the back by about a quarter to a half of an inch. This height data is different than earlier measurements because the tires are a different size. The diameter of the old tires was 646mm and the new ones 615mm or about 1 1/4 in. smaller.

Adjusting the front height

020428-1013 First, I removed out the strut, axle and hub. It requires removing 2 bolts on the A-arm which connect to the ball-joint, the tie rod, the nut and washer in the trunk at the top of the shock and the brake line. The hard part of this operation is breaking the tie rod free. I used a gear puller which worked but a tool designed more specifically for the purpose would work much better.

There are three bolts lined up at the back end of the A arm. On the left is the fine ride height adjustment. We are out of travel and the height is still too high. The second bolt is one of the attachment points of the suspension to the body. The third bolt is an 8mm cap screw that needs to be loosened.
020428-1033 You can cut off the end of a 8mm Allen wrench to make an effective wrench for the socket head bolt. The Allen wrench did not have long enough lever arm to break the bolt free.
020428-1016 Remove the end cap from the front of the A-arm. Remove the snap ring from inside the tube. You can see the end of the torsion bar. The bar can be removed by driving out from the back to the front through the opening shown.
020428-1022 Here is the rear access for the torsion bar. There is a plastic cap that covers this hole. You can see the snap ring in the hole that does not have to be removed.

Back the height adjustment screw clear out as shown.
020428-1019 To get an idea of where the arm should be repositioned on the torsion bar I measured the angle and took some measurements. I want to lower the car by 1 inch. The length of arm is shorter than the total and should be raised from the floor by 3/4 inch. Details of the calculation can be found with the picture.

These fancy calculation details can be safely ignored because of the adjustment screw. Instead, drive the torsion bar out through the front till it is free. Then lift the A-arm end until you can find the next position where the torsion bar will fit into both sets of splines and put it all back together.
020428-1037 The adjustment screws are used to fine tune the height after reassembly. Here we are with the front end too low and before lowering the rear end. After the picture was taken I raised the height to 25 in. plus a bit at the fender lip.

The next step is to lower the back end.


Before we do that, some measurements are in order.
020516-1150 Let's establish the toe-in. Drop a point to the floor from both sides of the the each tire. I use an old square and a level to make the square vertical. You can also use a plumb-bob. Mark the four corners on a piece of tape on the floor, and measure each side of the square with a tape measure, writing down the measurements. If you are unsure of your technique, drive around the block and to it again.
020516-1138 Pull the rear wheel and measure from a fixed point on the car to a point on the hub. Changing the ride hieght requires disconnecting the spring plate from the suspension, so you want to be able to put it back to the same dimensions.

Changing the Rear Ride Height

020516-1126 The spring plate is held to the trailing link with the two bolts on the right. The two others in the center are used to adjust the suspension, primarily the toe-in.


020516-1130 The outside of the spring plate before the adjustment screws are replaced.
020516-1136 The inside view of the spring plate. Don't try to put your head where the camera was.
020516-1132 The adjusting screws.
020516-1141 A 3/8 drive socket may work to turn the screws if you don't have a large enough metric hex wrench.
Last modified: Wed, 01 May 2002


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